Do (n't). Ask. Me.

I've been getting asked a really annoying and hurtful question a lot lately. "Do you ever have any good days?" I've been down this road before with people, and I am learning how to tell if the person asking me is doing so out of a caring place, or if they are asking that out of a place of hate. Usually I feel like it comes from a negative place, maybe hate isn't the right word. It's really a hurtful thing to be asked that question. I understand that many people don't realize this when they ask it, but I have come to believe than many times this question is asked with the intent to hurt.

Asking me "Do you ever have any good days?" reinforces so many of the negative thoughts I have towards myself. It makes me stop and ask myself if I do, in fact, ever have a good day? It immediately discounts any amount of good that may have happened that day, or the day before even. I am trying to get better at not labeling my days as good or bad and it's hard to do that when people's perceptions of how you respond to a simple question inquiring how you are result in every day being a bad day. For me it's not an easy bounce back after that question is presented to me. I also never know how to answer it. If I say no then I'll get some unsolicited advice. If I say yes do I have to justify my answer? And why does this, what to most seems like a simple question, have to take such a toll on me? I will say that at times I am able to brush it off, or laugh and reply with some sarcasm to my tone. That's if I am in a good place at the time. I wish I could say that happens more often.

I know there are stories and articles and lists out there explaining what people with a mental health diagnosis mean when they say "I'm tired", or "I'm fine". Some of those articles are better than others at really getting to the point of why some of us use those generic phrases to respond. Some of them just give a list of reasons why someone may use that response. I'll tell you why I say those two phrases all too often. When I say something so generic and surface level like "I'm fine", or "I'm okay", its because I can tell the person asking me that really doesn't care how I am. They don't want to have an actual conversation with me regarding HOW I am, because that would mean listening to me, or God forbid, having a conversation! So, the way to give that person an out is to just say I'm fine, okay, good, etc etc and not use any descriptors beyond that. If I say something like anxious, sad, fatigued, any real feelings for that matter, people feel forced to ask the follow up question, which, you guessed it, is "what's wrong?". The cycle of them not REALLY caring continues, and I end up feeling ignored or misunderstood in the end. Misunderstand more often than ignored, which is probably worse. It's not that I don't want to have these conversations with people and tell them how I am or what is going on, but when it's a forced conversation that typically one sided it's a lot of wasted energy. When I say I'm tired there's a good chance I am referring to being stuck. Not knowing exactly what I am. Tired of fighting daily battles in my head. Tired of being let down. Tired of the same day to day shit. Tired of feeling negative emotions. Tired of trying so damn hard to fake it until I make it. Tired of several things.

I realize this all relates back to a lot of my own insecurities and it is something I continue to work on. What I wish, and feel would make me feel much better about my relationships with people, is if those questions and conversations came out of a place of love and compassion. Maybe even some empathy. So please, if you are going to ask me how I am, ask it with sincerity. If you are asking out of feeling some sort of obligation, ask a different question instead. If you really are curious about how many good vs, bad days I have, ask in a more personable manner.  It's not so much to ask, is it?

                            Note to Self: Smile, pause and simply ask for some clarity when you get lost in the fast story.. and need for her to kinda explain who he and she and they.. is. : )


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